Sunday, August 20, 2023

A day in the life of the custodial parent - Dr. Michael Schlesinger

One of the more bizarre and irrational aspects of the Schlesinger case is why Beth lost custody. In what sense is the care provided by Michael to his sons superior to what Beth was providing. 

In this post I would like to describe what a day is like in Michael's home with the support of a non-Jewish woman who apparently is not fully fluent in German.

Actually to be more accurate Michael's plan for a home environment for his sons is not centered on the twin's parents, not even on Michael or his mother or sister. The most important person in their day to day lives is a non-Jewish Filipino. In essence the twins are being raised as orphans by a hired foster mother for which there is no sense of permanence or kinship in the relationship. In fact there were originally two Filipinos who took care of them - why this was changed is a story for another time. It is important to note that it was unrealistic to expect any significant help from either his mother or sister who are both divorced and have significant burdens of problems in their own lives - no matter what their good intentions are

 It doesn't take a deep understanding of Psychology to realize how harmful it is to not only have the family unit split by divorce - but Michael tries his best to minimize Beth's presence and influence in the life of the twins by arbitrarily cancelling scheduled visits. Of course due to the realities of being a doctor working in a mental hosptial with some very unpleasant cases [some so dangerous they need to be locked in cages] - he doesn't really have the time or the emotional ability to provide a warm and loving home atmosphere.

It is also strange that this arrangement was not what Michael told the court that the care plan would be. It is obvious if he had told the court that this was his plan that he would have been rejected automatically - especially since he was taking custody from a loving competent mother. He had originally claimed that he would care for  his children with the help of his mother and sister. [They in fact have little or nothing to do with caring for the twins].

It is clear that Vienna social services has no understanding of what is needed to raise children properly. The fact that the twins are functioning at all - is largely do to their native resilency that is aided by the visits with their mother.

Where is Michael in their lives? He apparently does not have much responsiblity in the hospital. How is Michael interacting with them when she is always there while they are awake?  What type of family life are the twins actually experiencing? In what sense is it psychologically healthy? What type of Jewish life is Rabbi Biderman encouraging?  [to be continued].[I welcome any communication from Michael explaining things from his point of view as well as corrections of facts]


  1. I am taking a strong interest in this case, because I cannot understand why the custody of two young children was ever taken from their bright, young capable mother.

    I understand that Beth is a Cambridge graduate and a language teacher at the University of Vienna teaching other young people!

    Why then should these children be entrusted into the care of a foreign non Jewish lady, who has limited language in either German or English?

    None of this makes any sense!

  2. It is impossible that the care provided for two Jewish children by a non-Jewish person can be compared to that given by their Jewish mother, who has been entrusted with it on her own for one quite long period at the beginning of their lives, as well as on regular visits since they were subjected to Austrian court-licenced abuse and removed for no good reason from her custody.

    A non-Jewish woman, no matter how attached Sammy and Benji may be to her (she is, after all, the only female figure they have become used to having around - their own relatives are not, I believe, known for either their kindness or helpfulness), can not possibly bring them up in the religion that means so much to their mother (but obviously not to their father, whose behavior is diametrically opposed to that expected of a good Jew)

  3. Any idea as to how the twins are progressing? I understood they missed major milestones and didn't speak.

  4. Who is this beast of a father? How can any father deny his children of their mother.
    It's cruel and selfish.
    Shame on you Michael Schlesinger
    You will regret this in years to come

  5. Is it not yet apparent to everyone that Dr Schlesinger does not mind public outrage. It may be because he thinks that he is right or because he simply does not care. He already proved that when it comes to any decision he has the upper hand in his country so upsetting him even more may get the opposite results.

    Those who want to help Beth and children should perhaps think again before they say what they think is the truth and act more tactically.

    At the same time, we should all reflect of other cases where the courts/beis-din is unfair to children and parents as the case of Beth and her children is only unique in the sense that using her tactics would have normally achieve the desired results by now. However, the extreme alleged injustice is sadly not exceptional.

  6. I was married to a "fine" man from a disturbed family. After we were divorced my in-laws kidnapped my children because I went through a brief period of being hurt and pleaded with Hashem. I was barely shomeret Shabbat. They took my children and as I was destitute I could not fight the gevirim. My children were neglected and now that they are adults some are still struggling. What if the mother was no longer religious and the father was a frum monster? His parents even worse. When the children became adults they fled!

  7. Sam, sociopaths don't mind public outrage because among other things they show:

    A failure to feel remorse or guilt

    And a very worrying characteristic of such people is that they also show:

    A tendency to display violent behavior

    The strangest aspect of this whole case and the one that is the most
    worrying of all is that the judge has failed to recognise what kind of
    man she is dealing with - one with the above traits. They are the most manipulative of all.

  8. Everything that you describe may be true but is normal in other divorce cases except that it usually it is against the father/children.

  9. It makes me want to cry to read your tragic story shadchan. The parallels are all there with Beth and her sons. She married a "fine" Viennese man - a doctor - from a disturbed family. The "kidnapping" by the father and his family was legal - like many thousands around the world at any one time. Disgraceful. Beth is destitute because virtually all her salary goes to the father. The children were so neglected that they're not starting real school now as they're not mature enough. Where will these two boys be in 5 years from now, when they'll be supposed to start secondary school? Where will they be 8 years after that when they should be sitting the Austrian school leaving exams? And where will they be as adults, after having been socialised in a disturbed family and a school system that in other parts of the world teaches the children to spit at churches they pass? I hate to think. Evidently others who have taken charge of their miserable, loveless (except when with their mother and her family) lives don't think about it at all. Nor do they seem to care.

  10. Beth now has 6 nights a month. Who gave that to her? The judge or the father? Why is she not allowed weekends? This father is just a very sick person who just loves that we are all writing about him but this judge i don't understand. Does she like to torture little children and mothers. Does she really think that they are not hurting. Everywhere they go they see friends with their moms. Is Beth allowed to talk to them when they are not with her? He is not enabling their children a good relationship with both parents. That is the reason why, so they say, Kelly Rutherford now lost custody of her young children. Another mother without her kids. But these fathers and i think their mothers are for a 100 % the problem. They just want to win and hurt. I don't think they care when the children are old enough and return to their mother. They had a lovely time, some many people giving attention to them, they won the children!

  11. It has to be questioned why the judge appears to be so blinkered!

  12. Do all the children separated from their mothers display such worrying signs as the Schlesinger are showing with their delayed development?

    Has the Judge considered that this might be because of trauma?

    What does the judge think is being gained by denying the children their mother? What is her long term view?

    Little children are little worries. Big children are big worries.

    Does the judge have children? Doesn't she realise? Schlesinger obviously doesn't!

  13. You can bet your life the father gave the orders (which he often disobeys), Roos. The judge merely pronounces them. She's a marionette. The dr pulls the strings. And a high court converted Jewish judge runs the whole show. Austria is supposed to be a democratic country - ha! Don't believe it!

  14. The judge doesn't realise! Come on..let nobody be under the impression that anyone in Austria gives two hoots about those children or their welfare. They know full well what the score is. From Schlesinger whose violence about whose violence there is no doubt and who only wanted the twins to spite and destroy their mother to the converted Judge Konstanta Thau thence to Judge Gottlicher who is either stupid (and if she is how did she get to be a Judge????) or blind to their suffering. On to Chief Rabbi Paul Eisenberg then to Chabad Rabbi Biderman and his staff and the rest of Chabad Vienna and now back to the collective and individual members of the Jewish Community. They are so mired in it they cant get out of it!

  15. What a wonderful life he must have being able to torture his ex-wife day in and day out. Giving her overnight visits after 3 years and then a year later a few nights more and at the same time cancelling the visits again. What fun must this man have. Unbelievable stupid of him. Every day the children will understand more of what is going on. It is a pity they have to wait till they are 14 to be able to escape from the prison they are living in. It is strange that in the past we used to be smarter (when children esp. little children were automatically staying with their mom after divorce). It is offcourse not good when children don't see their fathers anymore but there is something called 50/50 which Austria is not using. They are looking at Germany who introduced this option 12 years ago. But still they are doing nothing. This judge can't possibly have children. That is impossible. Even when she made a mistake 4 years ago she had enough time to find out what he has done and make it right. He is not doing anything to provide for a good relationship with the other parent and i read everywhere that that is so important for judges. But okay i understand now he is the boss of the whole legal system in Vienna. So there is nothing anyone can do because Austria doesn't have the option of shared custody. You win or lose your kids. Mothers get the children when the fathers disappear after divorce or breakup (and that is no problem he is just called an a*), know they belong primarily to the mother and they can work out an arrangement, are unfit (addicted to drugs etc.). Only in a few % ot the cases the father gets the children when the mother is not unfit. Doesn't that say enough. When a mother leaves her newborn child behind she gets life in prison or worse when a father does that nothing happens! But when the fathers want the children, even when they are just born, they must have them, at any cost!


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